Ask the Experts: Rowdy Brother-in-Law

Q: My brother-in-law tends to get rowdy at parties. How can we make sure he doesn’t get out of control at the reception?

A: The easiest way to avoid getting run over by a loose cannon is to not invite one, wedding planners and etiquette experts agree. But if you must have him on the list, don’t try to police him yourself. “Event planners work in tandem with bartenders to make sure nobody drinks too much,” says Megan Kline, president of Megan Kline Events in Horsham.

Mark Kingsdorf, professional wedding consultant and owner of The Queen of Hearts Wedding Consultants in Philadelphia, asks couples to identify candidates for bad behavior before the event. “I’ve actually pointed people out to the DJ and said ‘Don’t let this guy have the microphone,’” he says.

If you aren’t working with a planner, consider retaining a troubleshooter to monitor the wedding and reception. “You can hire a day-of consultant just to keep tabs on the hot-button issues,” says Phyllis Jablonowski, president of Eventricity in Glenside. “Then you won’t have to worry about anything detracting from the Big Day.” —Eileen Smith